Equine tourism in the East Midlands will receive a much-needed boost next month with the help of a Keep Safe training course run by the Equestrian Tourism and Leisure Project in Welland.

Ride Welland — managed by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and funded by the East Midlands Development Agency — is hosting the event at Witham Villa Riding Centre, near Lutterworth on 28th September.

The course is aimed at local equine businesses and will provide expert advice and practical tips from the Leicestershire Fire Service and the Leicestershire Crime Prevention Unit. There will also be talks from solicitors and insurance specialists with experience in the equine business sector.

CLA equine expert Sylvia Hull said: “The CLA is committed to helping the rural economy, and equine businesses are vital to the tourism market in the region.

“But people do not appear to be fully aware of the equine leisure services in this area — they tend to visit places like Wales and the southwest instead, or places on their doorstep.

“It is important that people who work with horses receive regular safety updates so that they can keep themselves and other people safe.”

The Keep Safe course – which runs from 9.30am until 1.30pm – will demonstrate the importance of good health and safety practice in the equine environment.

The Ride Welland project began in 2007 with the aim of developing the region as a place with quality equestrian tourism and leisure and to offer support and training to equine businesses in the area.

“Local councils identified equine tourism as being less well supported than other industries, despite its obvious contribution to the economy,” added Ms Hull. “We have run many courses on website building and first aid to help educate local businesses and give them the support they need to develop their services.”

The course is free of charge to equine businesses in Leicestershire, Rutland, East Northants and South Kesteven, Lincolnshire.

For more information visit: www.ridewelland.co.uk or email: sylvia.hull@cla.org.uk